For the first time media and newspaper companies are starting to see more digital and online subscriptions overtake the more traditional printed form. According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence, 2010 was a benchmark year and they allocate the growing digital subscription to mobile media, such as Tablet PC‘s.
Some interesting statistics have come fourth from the recent news poll that the PRCPE has taken. 46% of Americans now say they get their news from digital media or from online sites vs. 40% that get their news from traditional newspapers.
One of the large paradigm shifts from printed to digital media is due to the advertising factor.
Newspaper ad revenue in 2010 fell 46 percent in four years to an estimated $22.8 billion, with an additional $3 billion more for online advertising according to the report. Meanwhile online advertising is at $25.8 billion in 2010 the study said citing data from researcher eMarketer. So it seems that more companies are gravitating towards an online subscription model because that is where the advertising money is. Google, Admob and other companies vie for position in portable media to line the pockets of the news production companies. While even television advertising has fallen in the last decade due to the rise of the internet.
Many major news companies are seeing 30% staff reduction due to the fact that advertising dollars are not what they used to be. Also, companies instead of reaching a limited audience with investing in advertising space in a printed version of a newspaper are instead purchasing the space online where they can reach a more global audience.
The shift to digital media is a boon to news hounds where free news from major companies is not difficult to find. Even the New York Times is easily read online, ditto with the Vancouver Sun. Although news companies soon will be charging for access for now it provides people with a low cost alternative buying the digital version of a publication rather then the printed form.
Going forward we will likely see digital news surpassing the printed form by a decisive margin as companies like Google and Apple have started their own digital newsstands. Apple recently partnered with News Corp to bring “The Daily” which is a dedicated stand alone product with a staff of around 30 of legendary freelance contributors for the New Yorker, Times, and the Wall Street Journal. While the app enjoys brisk readership Apple is betting on developing a platform that media groups can have their subscriptions available in a one stop shop. Google is also developing a newsstand for Android devices, and should be out later this summer.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.